Since Steve Kerr spurned the New York Knicks for the Golden State Warriors, several names have popped up in the Knicks coaching search thanks to Phil Jackson wanting to stay with what he knows best. Those names consist of personnel who had formerly played under Jackson or coached alongside the Knicks president: Tyronn Lue, Derek Fisher, Kurt Rambis, etc.
Of those names, Derek Fisher has currently drawn the most attention in regards to the job, but in an interview with NewsOK, the reserve point guard says he won’t give the job any real thought until after the Oklahoma City Thunder are done in the playoffs
What are your thoughts on the Knicks job?
Obviously, it’s humbling. It’s flattering. But Phil knows better than anybody at this time of year that singular focus that you have to have, and that’s what I’m trying to do for myself and for this team. My future, regardless of what it is, I’m not concerned about it until after these playoffs are done.
You’re friends with Phil. You wrote on your blog you’re still very close. Has he been talking to you through the playoffs a little bit just seeing how things are going?
No. We touched base right before his official press conference when he accepted the job. And since then, we haven’t spoken. Obviously, he’s busy in terms of trying to make the changes he needs to make there. But I have a day job as well, and I think he respects that more than anybody. He taught me a lot about how to operate during this time of year. We talk every offseason. I’m sure we’ll talk again when the season’s over. But I don’t have any intentions on reaching out to him. And I think he respects the space that I’m in right now as well.
Fisher’s quotes aren’t shocking. This is the politically correct thing to say as Fisher and the Thunder are currently fighting with the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference, dropping Game 1 to the Spurs. And with the Thunder so heavily invested into the series, especially with Serge Ibaka out for the remainder of the playoffs, Fisher’s won’t attend to the matter until it ends.
Despite the history between Fisher and Jackson, the two winning five championships together with the Los Angeles Laker, he seems an odd pick. When comparing Fisher to Kerr pre-Warriors hiring, it makes sense, but in the grand scheme of things, Jackson searching only for disciples of the triangle offense comes off a bit worrisome as Jackson is boxing himself into a box that could easily backfire if things aren’t perfectly aligned going into the 2014 season.
Based on how things look, if Fisher wants the job it’s all but his. And if that’s the conclusion he comes to, it won’t be publicly stated until the Thunder either win the NBA championship or are eliminated.